Feb 21, 2017

SLFP says will not allow a federal system Featured

Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says the SLFP will never allow the country to embrace a federal system of governance.

Addressing a women’s Bala Mandala meeting in Badulla yesterday (20), he said his party wanted to see a new constitution that would not require a referendum for its passage.

That is an election promise too, he said, adding that the constitution should guarantee the country’s unity and sovereignty and a proper electoral system.

De Silva was responding to a remark by top UNP figure and his cabinet colleague Lakshman Kiriella made on the previous day in Badulla.

Referendum could be won - Kiriella

kiriellaKiriella said the country needed a new constitution, and that a referendum on the matter could be won.

He noted the problems among the communities still existed despite the end of the war, and devolution of powers would be the way forward.

The 13th amendment is a power devolution confined only to the book, a fact even ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa has admitted to, said Kiriella.

TNA is prepared to discussbandaranayaka

Meanwhile, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said they were prepared to discuss a realistic power devolution programme.

He has told BBC Sandeshaya that his party would go to Sinhala areas and explain reasons for its stand, which, he said, was open to change.

There is a need to correct the wrong opinion about a federal solution, Sumanthiran said, adding that all stable governments in the world were based on federalism.

It was prime minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike who first suggested federalism, but Jaffna leaders opposed him then, and even upcountry leaders giving evidence before the Donoughmore and Soulbury commissions too, wanted a federal system of governance, he explained.

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TNA ready to abandon federalism – Sumanthiran